Ben Swann of CBS46 retweeted ‘support’ from a fake Georgia congressman

Ben Swann comes from a Cincinnati station and begins June 15. CREDIT: CBS46

Ben Swann joined WGCL-TV in the summer of 2015. CREDIT: CBS46

This was posted on Thursday, January 19, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Ben Swann, who is taking the day off as evening anchor on CBS46, today retweeted what appeared to be a supportive Tweet regarding his “Pizzagate” story Tuesday night on the same station.

The problem: the Tweet is from @RepStevenSmith, who identifies himself as a Georgia congressman but is not. The entire Twitter feed is a spoof and has fooled many prominent people over the years.

According to Buzzfeed, “For the past three years, Rep. Smith has fooled some of the most prominent journalists and pundits in America into believing that he’s a real congressman, using a combination of guerrilla troll tactics, a Leto-as-Joker-like commitment to the character, and even a sidekick chief of staff account to help sustain the ruse.” His real name is Jeffrey Marty, a Tampa attorney who is fed up with all politicians.

Many people on social media today have been calling Swann irresponsible or worse for what they see as an innuendo-laced report that lacked any real independent reporting.

But there are plenty of supporters of Swann he could retweet such as:

CBS46 is owned by Meredith, not CBS. “WGCL-TV in Atlanta is not owned or operated by CBS. As such, CBS News has no editorial control over the station’s news product,” said Richard Huff, executive director of Communications for CBS News to TVNewser. A Meredith spokesman has not gotten back to me but told The Daily Beast that they are looking into the situation.

As of 4 p.m. today, Swann has not been punished in any way and I have heard no word of any tangible repercussions of anybody involved.

 

Reader Comments 0

4 comments
RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Don't know if he "lied", but a reporter and a commentator should verify any news presented. What is wrong is that a news reporter has no idea of who is/isn't a Congressman or an elected official here! Putting out false info whether a tweet or e-mail destroys their reputation of professionalism, and when your reputation is destroyed, you are done!

walterbolton
walterbolton

I have watched his reality check many times and I find them enlightening and refreshing that a TV news anchor risks ire to provide insight that others are not willing to do! As an anchor he is refreshingly objective and just gives you the information! I saw pizzagate and there was nothing but information given - no opinion! PleAse don't let those who do not want to hear the other side deter you! You should be rewarded not punished! I think the team of Ben and Sharon is the best on an Atlanta station!

MawMawV
MawMawV

WGCL has a nice group of people,  with the exception of Ben Swann.  I always wondered how he came up with his "Now you know" commentary.  Now I know he is a liar and a fear monger, a supporter of the lying, perverted, orange con artist.  I don't agree with some of your "Just a Minute" people, but they do not lie in the manner that Swann does.  Because of his lies, a crackpot went to DC looking to kill innocent people on the word of a convoluted, screwed up person.  How can you have someone of his low caliber work for your station?  You are trying to build your station up.  He is taking it down.

MyBad
MyBad

@MawMawV The con man is Your President. And that makes me happy.

Are you in John Lewis' district? Perhaps you are. Perhaps it will now actually improve.